Now that heavy equipment has finished work on the first phase of Canadian Motor Speedway ( CMS ) in Fort Erie Ontario, a schedule or time-line for the $400 million dollar project, a “what happens next” path, is being closely followed by developers and engineers.
Phase-One of the development, the re-construction of Miller Creek, began at dawn on Tuesday October 8, 2013, and in just over a month of dawn-to-dusk work, Aecon Construction bulldozers and earth movers manoeuvred and repositioned well over 200 thousand tons of top soil and clay, taking full advantage of some gorgeous October weather.
November saw the main flow channel of Miller Creek excavation completed, and the banks of the creek grass hydro-seeded. The site will now be secured for the winter, with the planting of trees along the creek set for the spring.
Canadian Motor Speedway Partner and Executive Director Azhar Mohammad, who recently returned from a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series “Chase for the Championship” race, accompanied by CMS CEO Ibrahim Abou Taleb and Chairman Adnan Al Bahar, says just starting work and being able to see dirt move on the ground at the Canadian Motor Speedway site is something that’s resonating across the sport.
“Everyone we spoke to knows about CMS! Everybody is talking about the buzz in Canada in the motorsport industry! Everyone has a detailed understanding of what we’ve gone through the last few years, and now they know the project has finally started. CMS designer Jeff Gordon has been such a great ambassador for Canadian Motor Speedway”, Mohammad commented.
So what happens next in the CMS time-line? Mohammad says CMS is evaluating architectural firms from the best in Canada, to work with Jeff Gordon’s design, to get it down to formal blueprints.
“We should have an architectural firm selected by mid-February. To develop a detailed site plan will take approximately three months to reflect the approved zoning bylaw.” Mohammad added. “The design will reflect the .7 mile oval and 2 mile road course with grandstands, as well as the multi-use aspects of the CMS vision… the hockey rink, the concert venue, and infrastructure to support McMaster University and Niagara College. We are looking to submit our final site plan to the Town of Fort Erie in April , with a projected construction start on pre-grading and site alteration work by mid- summer ”, Mohammad added.
After a small ceremonial ground breaking on site involving CMS top executives, Mohammad says they still plan a major, formal ground breaking in the spring of 2014.
“We really want the CMS fans and the public to be part of the celebration! We are definitely planning a memorable event that will involve Jeff Gordon, who will address the fans to thank them for their loyal support on what will be a very special day!”, Mohammad continued.
The formal ground breaking will green-flag eighteen months of construction of the sports’ first Carbon Neutral, and Canada’s first world class oval and integrated road course hosting a variety of racing platforms, notably stock car and open wheel racing, which is slated to be race-ready in 2016.